LONDON Aug 26 Britain's FTSE 100 index
is seen opening up 36-37 points, or 0.5 percent higher on
Tuesday, according to financial bookmakers. For more on the
factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* Futures for the index were up 0.5 percent by 0637
* The London stock market, closed on Monday for a public
holiday, is set to play catch up with an advance seen in Europe
on Monday fuelled by comments by European Central Bank President
Mario Draghi which raised expectations of further policy easing.
Draghi, speaking at a global central banking conference in
Jackson Hole, Wyoming, said late on Friday the bank was prepared
to respond with all its "available" tools should inflation drop
* The FTSE 100 slipped off three-week highs on
Friday to close down 2.41 points - flat in percentage terms - at
The FTSE 100 hit a peak of 6,894.88 points in mid-May, its
highest level in more than 14 years, but the market has since
given up much of that ground partly down to worries over
conflicts in Ukraine and also in Iraq.
* Britain's slow wage growth is not certain to pick up any
time soon, despite signs of skills shortages, Bank of England
deputy governor Ben Broadbent said in a speech on Saturday.
* ANTOFAGASTA : The London-listed Chilean copper
miner posted an 11.5 percent fall in its first half core profit,
hit by higher production costs and lower copper prices.
* PETROFAC : The British oil and gas services company
Petrofac reported a 44 percent fall in first-half profit, hurt
by slow progress at some of its projects.
* WPP : WPP, the world's largest advertising group,
reported a 1.5 percent rise in first-half headline pretax profit
to 532 million pounds ($882 million), slightly ahead of
forecasts, and reaffirmed its net sales operating margin
improvement target for the year of 0.3 percentage points in
* BUNZL : The British business supplies distributor
reported a 5 percent rise in pretax profits in the first half of
its financial year due to strong growth in its international
* BG GROUP : The oil giant has quietly begun looking
for a buyer for part of its prized Tanzanian operation, the
Sunday Times reported. It is understood the company wants to
sell its entire 60 percent stake in an exploration area in
Tanzania known as Block 3, while holding on to Blocks 1 and 4,
the newspaper said.
* LONMIN : The chief executive of the platinum
producer denied assertions from mining industry sources that the
company aimed to cut around 5,700 jobs as part of a drive to
restore profits after a five-month strike.
* BALFOUR BEATTY : Balfour Beatty is to embark on a
City charm offensive to appease disgruntled investors -
including a hike in the value of its book of infrastructure
investments - after the collapse of merger talks with smaller
rival Carillion, the Sunday Times reported.
Balfour is expected this week to pump up the value of its
book of private finance initiative contracts from 766 million
pounds to more than 1 billion pounds, the newspaper said.
* HSBC : HSBC Holdings Plc was sued for $250 million
on Friday for allegedly ignoring red flags that a colorful
British entrepreneur, the late David Elias, was committing fraud
through an investment vehicle he controlled.
TODAY'S UK PAPERS
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(Reporting by Tricia Wright; editing by Blaise Robinson)